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Pound Ridge Engineer Leads Drive For Huge Indoor Sports Complex

A Pound Ridge engineer is helping lead the way for the construction of a Sports Dome in East Fishkill that will include eight baseball diamonds.
A Pound Ridge engineer is helping lead the way for the construction of a Sports Dome in East Fishkill that will include eight baseball diamonds. Photo Credit: Contributed

WESTCHESTER COUNTY, N.Y. -- A Pound Ridge engineer who is the CEO of a Rye Brook business that builds air supported structures is leading the drive to build an eight-acre sports dome in East Fishkill, N.Y.

Houlihan Lawrence recently represented the buyer and seller in the purchase of 33 acres at the former IBM West Campus in East Fishkill. The property sold for $2.2 million, and Hopewell Sportsdome Ventures figures to spend $30 million to build the largest baseball sports dome on the East Coast. Eight baseball fields are planned.

China-based Linuo Solar Group sold the parcel to a group led by Donato (Dan) Fraioli of Pound Ridge. The entire IBM parcel includes about 100 acres.

“It was a collaborative effort,’’ said Thomas LaPerch, head of the Houlihan Lawrence commercial team that landed the deal. “The town of East Fishkill could not have been better in working with both parties. We feel we need it to re-energize the area.”

LaPerch said the facility will be the home to teams looking for an all-weather space to practice and play. Baseball will be the primary sport, but any game that is played on turf -- lacrosse, soccer, field hockey and football -- will also be played.

Fraioli is the CEO of Air Structures American Technology of Rye Brook. The business has engineered, manufactured and built practice domes for several teams in the National Football League, including the New York Giants and Jets. The business also built the Danbury Sports Dome in Connecticut, which opened in 2013. The business builds a variety of domes.

“The dome is in the model of facilities at the Cal Ripken complex in Maryland and in Cooperstown,’’ LaPerch said. “They think there’s a market here.”

Indoor playing facilities have become a burgeoning industry in the Northeast. Many teams looking to play games and practice faced extensive travel in winter, fall and early spring. LaPerch said those teams will now have an opportunity to stay closer to home.

LaPerch said the state-of-the-art dome will include restaurants and batting cages. Construction is expected to begin this month. The facility expects to open late in 2016 or early in 2017.

The project will also be near Interstate 84 and Route 9, which will make it easily accessilble.

“It was a good deal for both parties,’’ LaPerch said. “We’re hoping this jump starts the economy in East Fishkill.”

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